As the measles outbreak has flared, vaccination rates have soared in the pacific northwest, reports the New York Times.
Refusal or resistance to vaccination — which health experts say can raise the chances of an outbreak by putting at risk people who cannot be immunized for medical reasons — may be connected to a broader anti-vaccination movement, including concerns that vaccines lead to autism, an idea that has been widely debunked. But fears incited by the outbreak could trump those concerns, experts say.
Around Oregon and within Portland, the percentage of children unvaccinated for measles varies widely from school to school, with most at or near the threshold protection levels that epidemiologists say keep the virus at bay, around 93 percent. Still, at some Portland schools, 10 to 20 percent or more of their students are unvaccinated for nonmedical reasons.